Dells Legion baseball receives program-sustaining donation – WiscNews

American Legion baseball recently received insurance that it will be around for at least several more years, in spite of its benefactor organization’s aging population.

The Gregory C. Van Wie Foundation made sure of that by contributing $25,000 to Legion Post 187 coffers for use in managing and operating its successful and popular baseball program.

The funds should keep the team flush with operating expenditures for the next five years, according to Van Wie board and Legion member John Van Wie. After those five years are up, further funding could be available depending on the need and the state of the local Post, Van Wie said.

“The $5,000 a year is a little more than they need, but they might need uniforms one of these years,” he said. “There’s a little extra in there.”

Van Wie and Foundation Co-director Bruce Rodger presented a ceremonial check for $25,000 to Legion baseball General Manager Brad Davis and Harold Larkin Memorial American Legion Vice Commander Gary Thompson during a recent, brief ceremony at Post 187 in the Dells.

The team generates much of its funding with concession sales managed by Legion Post members, and the Foundation’s contribution helps out at a time when the group’s aging population makes it more challenging to generate funds in that manner.

“Our funds are dwindling and the guys that are working the concession stand are getting older,” Van Wie said this week. “We can’t get as much help to do the concession stand so money flow is going to stop — that’s why we stepped forward, to make sure for next five years the Legion would continue.”

Once the five years is up, the foundation will consider further donations — as long as Legion baseball is still going strong, Van Wie said.

“Five years from now, if the Foundation is still there and the baseball program still exists, we might give for another five years,” he said.

Following the check ceremony, the Legion baseball general manager was succinct in his assessment of the program-sustaining contribution.

“Think: Baseball,” he said with a smile.


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